This week has been exciting! I spent all day in classes on Tuesday for Illinois Department of Agriculture and USDA GAP training. GAP stands for Good Agricultural Practices. In January 2002, USDA AMS formally implemented the USDA Good Agricultural Practices & Good Handling Practices (GAP & GHP) audit verification program. This voluntary program is offered to the fruit and vegetable industry to verify an operation’s efforts to minimize the risk of contamination of fresh fruits, vegetables, and nuts by microbial pathogens. The program does not guarantee the product is free from microbial contamination, but verifies the participant has taken proactive measures to reduce the risk of contamination by adhering to generally recognized industry best practices. The responsibility for product safety and the continued observance of best practices rests with the operation producing and handling the fresh product.
At Bountiful Blessings Farm Produce, we make customer safety a top priority. I am glad that I attended the training and plan to implement the GAP practices as we move into the upcoming year. Many of the practices are already in place here on the farm.
The seed room is ready and most of our seeds are in from the suppliers. It will only be a short while and things will be rolling. Be sure to check back here every so often to learn more about what we are doing. Blessings!